You may not be too concerned about the net height when setting up your backyard volleyball set, but if you play in official competitions, the rules require the net to be set at a specific height. Measured in the center from the playing surface to the top of the net, the rules allow for different net heights in official match play. To determine the exact height, several factors must be taken into consideration -- gender, age, environment and physical ability.
Adult Indoor Net Heights
The rules state that the standard net height for official matches must be 7 feet, 11 5/8 inches for men and 7 feet, 4 1/8 inches for women. This varies slightly depending on the age group. Nets are lowered to 7 feet, 6 inches for men age 70 and older and 7 feet, 9 5/8 inches for men between the ages of 55 and 70. For women age 45 and older, the net is lowered to 7 feet, 2/18 inches. The same net height used in men's matches is used for coed volleyball competitions.
Youth Indoor Net Heights
Net heights for youth indoor matches vary depending on gender and age group. For boys ages 12 and under, the net is set to 7 feet and a net height of 7 feet, 4 1/8 inches is used for boys ages 13 and 14. For older boys, ages 15 to 18, the net is set to 7 feet, 11 5/8 inches. Girls 10 and under have the net set to 6 feet, 6 inches while girls ages 11 to 12 play with a 7-foot net. The same net height used in women's competition -- 7 feet, 4 1/8 inches -- is used for older girls ages 13 to 18.
Beach Volleyball Net Heights
For official adult beach volleyball matches, the rules require the net set to the same height as indoor matches -- 7 feet, 11 5/8 inches for men and coed matches, and 7 feet, 4 1/8 inches for women. For boys and girls age 12 and younger, the net is lowered to 7 feet. The net is set to 7 feet, 4 inches for girls between the ages of 12 and 18, and boys between the ages of 12 and 14. Older boys, ages 16 and older, play with an 8-foot net.
Sitting Volleyball Net Heights
Also called ParaVolley, VolleySLIDE and Paralympic Volleyball, indoor and beach sitting volleyball are designed for disabled athletes. In accordance with World ParaVolley rules, the net must be set to 1.15 meters or about 3 feet, 9 inches for men. For women, the net is slightly lower -- 1.05 meters or about 3 feet, 5 inches.